Re: Is synthroid stronger than generic levo?
It isn't that Synthroid is "stronger"... It's just different in the way it's manufactured, so that it acts differently within your body. Absorption of the generics can be spotty, at best. Because Synthroid generally for most people absorbs better, it can hit one like a ton of bricks sometimes.
You may have had better luck staying on the generic, increasing the dose steadily every 6 weeks until your free T4 and free T3 rise to mid lab range, minimally. Or you may not have trouble with a different name brand, such as Levoxyl, Levothroid, or Unithroid. You'll have to experiment to find something that works better. Remaining unmedicated isn't much of a choice, at least to me, it wasn't.
I have to tell you, my own starting experience was much like yours. My unmedicated TSH was near 7, and I was given 75 mcgs of Synthroid. I was overmedicated and hyper within a month, so the dose was reduced to 50 mcgs. (This is the smallest therapeutic dose; 25 mcgs is not a true dose.) I was still hyper 6 weeks later. Since the dose couldn't be reduced any further, the MD told me to stop taking it and wait until I got "sick enough" to "tolerate" it. That wasn't an option for me that made an iota of sense. From reading this board and others, I was aware of Armour thyroid and wanted to try that. I had to find an MD to prescribe it; the first would not. I began taking a very small starter dose of it, gradually worked my way up to an optimal dose, and never once became overmedicated that whole time. It was gentler on my system and worked extremely well for me until recent manufacturing changes caused it to stop working. I switched to another brand of natural thyroid and am fine once again.
So.... You have options, too. You could try a different brand of T4, or you could try natural thyroid. You, like me, may have to switch MDs to get a script for natural thyroid, because it isn't held in much esteem anymore. But millions of people do take it successfully.
I hope you'll find something more tolerable soon!